|In this issue:
MLA 2002 – Dallas
by MLA Leadership and
Preliminary Program Announcement
Leadership of health sciences libraries has never been more challenging. Demands for new services and electronic resources frequently outstrip the shrinking budgets and resources of hospital and academic medical libraries. Technology has become a key factor in almost every important decision. Expectations from users and administrators are higher than ever. Today's health care environment demands that libraries foster innovative partnerships and demonstrate leadership at all levels of the organization.
The Hernon, Powell, Young study published in the March 2001 issue of College and Research Libraries highlights the attributes that present and future library leaders need to possess and points out the changing demographics of academic librarians. Carol Jenkins, MLA President 2001-2002, has cited the challenge to MLA of having a large number of members who will retire in the current decade without a correspondingly large increase in new members. How will new leaders in our profession develop the skills and confidence needed to step into leadership roles?
This symposium will provide you with the opportunity to:
Recommendations from this symposium will be used to create a “white paper” which will be used to promote the development of a strategic agenda for leadership in health sciences libraries.
Mark your MLA Annual Meeting calendar for a special program on how managers can deal with difficult and “at-risk” employees. Persons considered at-risk include those with psychological problems, job stress and burnout, drug and alcohol abuse, or chronic illness. This program will address how to identify personnel with problems and how to assist them.
The speaker will be Rita Handrich, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist and workplace consultant at the University of Texas at Austin's Employee Assistance Program. Dr. Handrich has more than a decade of professional experience in mental health settings and in working with populations ranging from the worried well to the severely mentally ill. She was principal investigator for a Hogg Foundation project entitled Managing Mental Illness in the Workplace, and provides training on mental illness in the workplace at the local, state, regional, and national levels.
This presentation is sponsored by the Leadership & Management Section and the Mental Health SIG, and will be held on Sunday, May 19, 2002, from 4:00-5:30 p.m. Don’t miss it!
Barbara Epstein, AHIP
Almost all of us have benefited in one way or another by having someone mentor us. This mentoring may have been of a formal or informal nature; it may have been situational or constant. At the 2002 MLA annual meeting in Dallas, come listen to our distinguished panel who represents just one of many MLA “mentoring families". The family panel, led by Dr. Shelley Bader, Ed.D., Associate Vice President for Educational Resources, Himmelfarb Library, George Washington University Medical Center, includes three prominent librarians Dr. Bader has mentored over the years. All three of these family members are now health sciences library directors. The other panelists are:
Hear how the panelists’ mentoring relationships started, were fostered and their impressions of how mentoring has helped them to achieve the positions they currently hold. Learn how they have mentored each other as peers also.
This informative section program will be held on Monday, May 20, 2002, from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Come share in the lively group discussion to follow the panel’s presentations and give dimension to mentoring!
Jean P. Shipman, AHIP
ONE APPROACH TO STRATEGIC PLANNING
At the University of Virginia’s Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, we typically hold a library-wide planning retreat every two years to brainstorm ideas to incorporate into our strategic plan and our budgeting process. In the “off” years, we generally meet to review our progress and make any major course adjustments. These day-long retreats--held in the Library facilitated by the Library Director--have been moderately successful, but we wanted to improve upon them by fostering more “out-of-the-box” thinking.
At the time of the retreat, the Health Sciences Library had 41 full-time employees: 15 faculty and 26 support staff. Inter- and intra-departmental relationships are good. Nonetheless, the Library Director had received feedback that both faculty and staff were less likely to express “far-out” ideas at a retreat (as is the goal in brainstorming) when their supervisors or the Library Director was present. We had also learned from a library-wide Myers-Briggs Type workshop in the spring of 2001 about different communication preferences that could affect a retreat outcome.
We held our Library Planning Retreat over the course of three days during a week in July 2001.The first two days were held at the Library Director’s home – 19 people each day from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. The third day was a two-hour session back at the Library. Each of six teams was led by one of the Library’s faculty. Each team of 5-7 people consisted of another faculty member (or sometimes two) and the remaining members were staff. We tried to avoid supervisory relationships, achieve a mix of departments and a mix of communication (quiet vs. talkative) styles.
Three teams met each day, rotating throughout the day between the three levels of the house with a break for lunch. Twelve different questions had been prepared as stimulation for brainstorming. By the end of the day, each team had addressed four questions, with their input presented on flipcharts – later transcribed by the Library Director. Back at the Library, the Library’s webmaster created a Planning Retreat area on our intranet, complete with photos that had been taken throughout the two days, all the transcribed notes, and a function for adding new comments. Over the next month, the six teams reconvened to pursue the second step of brainstorming – applying some judgment to the ideas, debating pros and cons, and suggesting priorities. These were added to the website, and a library-wide meeting was held in mid-August to present each group’s work.
At the August meeting, a number of similar themes emerged from all the teams, a mix of ideas for new and enhanced services as well as suggestions for improved internal operations. Each team’s ideas built upon the others and there was much productive discussion. We then refined and prioritized the ideas into six goals, invited participation on project teams and set to work in September. Each group will include strategies for engaging our customers in shaping our responses to their information needs.
Some conclusions: This was a lot of fun and very productive. Everyone enjoyed the casual atmosphere of an off-site location (complete with a friendly dog to liven the proceedings!). The team leaders did a superb job of facilitating camaraderie and creativity. Team members learned enormously from each other in conversations that just don’t have time to happen at the workplace. We are currently looking at ways to encourage that inter-departmental communication more explicitly – to keep up the “buzz” as one staff member put it. There was consensus that we should use this process in the future.
A personal note: The hardest thing for me, as Library Director, was to let go and not participate directly in the brainstorming, but rather to orchestrate from behind the scenes and serve as hostess at my home as a way to be engaged in the process. I facilitated the summary sessions back at the Library, and will be working with the library management teams to refine and implement our plan. While the questions we used to stimulate discussion were idiosyncratic to our Library and environment, if anyone is interested, I’d be happy to share them.
Linda Watson, AHIP
The Triple Chapter meeting in New Orleans sponsored
this continuing education course on Sunday, October 28, 2001.
The course was really two for the price of one.
The first part of the course focused on leadership, and the second on
communication. When participants
were asked why we were interested in this particular CE offering, the majority
indicated interest in learning more about effective communication.
Instructor, Pat Wagner, of Pattern Research in
Denver, Colorado, (http://www.pattern.com),
has had experience with a number of library and other organizations.
In this course, she concentrated on the differences in responsibilities
at the task level, managerial level, and leadership level.
The managerial level is most difficult because of its middle position.
The class participated in an exercise to help each of us determine which
level we prefer. Mrs. Wagner
pointed out that some people do excellent work at the task level but do not
perform well at the managerial or leadership level.
People need training in management and leadership skills.
She related that some businesses do provide such training before moving
people into positions with managerial responsibilities.
People in positions of leadership must see the big picture and need the
ability to inspire, to think about principles rather than procedures, to take
risks, to effect change, to influence, to make connections with people, and to
plan for the future.
Having influence is a characteristic of leadership.
The course covered the differences among power, authority, and influence. The first step in having influence is establishing
rapport—connecting with someone, being able to see the other’s point of
view, expressing empathy. Rapport alone
is 50% of being influential. The
second step involves information, understanding the big picture, being
objective. The third and most difficult step is taking action, being
responsible, making a change, i.e., doing something that has consequences.
To influence a person’s behavior, provide information the way that s/he
prefers to receive it, whether that is visually, audibly, or through a hands-on
One of the goals of leadership is to elicit the best
from people. Mrs. Wagner noted that
we should make it easy for people to admit mistakes. Don’t put them in a position where they feel they must
cover up or lie. Leading includes
mentoring. One recommendation was
to ask people you have mentored what they have learned from you; you might be
In the next segment of the course, we learned that
the kinds of communication mistakes made by smart people are due to how they
were rewarded as children for being smart, what they now choose as rewards as
adults, what they value, their habits, their smugness, or what they do best.
Communication problems that occur for these reasons are all related to
status. Participants were provided
with a “Communication Cheat Sheet” which was a lengthy list of positive
actions that promote effective communication.
On the flip side, we received a list of “Negative Obsessions” which
interfere with the communication process.
Communication and leadership were tied together in
discussions and handouts about how to talk to people to inspire them, to
motivate them, and to let them know their work is valued.
Additional handouts included a toolkit with suggestions for what to do in
difficult situations and a list of characteristics of people who are good at
handling change and risk.
Mrs. Wagner reminded me of Herb White at times.
For example, she pointed out that lack of money, time, and resources is
not the root of a problem. A lack
in any of those areas is the result of choices made.
Don’t keep doing more things without more resources.
People’s personality types and how they affect the
workplace were addressed in several ways. The
five types in Satir’s Peoplemaking
were described: 1) the placater – wants to be liked, 2) the blamer – wants
to be right, 3) the computer (or robot) – appears perfect, is usually
emotionally aloof, 4) distracter – likes to be visible, 5) the level person
– is calm, relaxed, alert, honest, cheerful, benevolent, creative, curious.
It is obvious which type we should aspire to be!
Also discussed was a person’s locus of control.
Those with an external LOC tend to whine, blame others, and don’t
change behavior until there are external consequences.
Those with internal LOC make their own decisions and are accountable for
their actions. For example, they are on time whether there’s a supervisor
there or not.
The course was packed with nuggets of wisdom to be
applied in the workplace and in organizations.
To include them all here would “give away the course” as well as take
more space than allowed. Participants all went home with plenty to think about
and specific principles in mind to implement.
Even the experienced leader and communicator can gain something from this
Wagner’s reading recommendations:
Marcus and Coffman, Curt (consultants for Gallup).
First, break all the rules: what
the world’s greatest managers do differently. Simon & Schuster, 1999.
Linda. Becoming a manager: mastery of a
new identity. Penguin, 1993.
Karen. Don’t shoot the dog: the new art
of teaching and training, rev. Bantam
Doubleday Dell, 1999.
Virginia. The new peoplemaking, 2nd
ed. Science & Behavior Books,
Due to the enthusiasm of our Section committees, we are well on our way. This issue details the terrific program planned for Dallas in May by Elaine Martin and her committee. Both the sponsored programs on Dealing with At-Risk Employees and the Dimensions of Mentoring look to be highly applicable as well as thought provoking. The Leadership Symposium will be an interactive opportunity for learning and discussion about the key areas of leadership. Judy Consales’ committee is working to expand our membership. A CE course on mentoring is under development and you will hear more about strategic planning in a series of e-mails in January.
While we have been working to get our new section on the move, there have been many other related initiatives that are providing both synergy and drive to our efforts. Since the Annual Meeting in Orlando, the MLA Task Force on Mentoring and the AAHSL Future Leadership Task Force have made final reports. Both of these efforts relate strongly to our section’s goals
The MLA Mentoring Program Task Force submitted its 45-page final report to the Board in April. The overall conclusion was to establish a culture of mentoring within MLA. To that end, the TF recommends a series of initiatives to implement and evaluate mentoring throughout MLA membership. Those most relevant to our section’s mission are:
In October, the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries devoted a morning of its annual meeting program to “Mentoring New Leaders: Why? Who? How?” In addition to Jean Shipman’s report on the MLA Task Force, we also heard the AAHSL Future Leadership Initiative’s Report. Their action plan addressed recruitment, education/training/mentoring, and research. In regard to education/training/mentoring AAHSL is:
What great timing! While the Leadership and Management Section is in its second year of existence developing its own programs and identity, it is already becoming a key player in the implementation of broader MLA goals and objectives and in combining with related organizations to deliver powerful programs and opportunities for our members!
The fledgling Leadership and Management Section is off to a very active start. As you can see from the program and symposium reports, LMS will have a prominent place in section programming at the annual meeting in “Big D” in May 2002.Congratulations to the officers, committee chairs and committee members who are diligently working to serve LMS members’ needs and interests while offering activities that will attract new members!
We would like for the newsletter to be more interactive. Please respond to Anne Linton’s article regarding PDAs. Before the next issue comes out, MLA will have held its teleconference, “Sync or Swim: Managing the Flood of PDAs in Health Care” (Wednesday, February 6, 2002).Maybe this teleconference will help spur the discussion! For further information, point your browser to:
Also, we would really like to have voluntary submissions of articles, book reviews, and conference reports dealing with leadership and/or management, as well as any personal news about you or other section colleagues.
Deadline for the pre-conference issue is April 2, 2002.
In the meantime, we hope that you have a joyous, healthy and safe holiday season!
W. Morton, AHIP
People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the
smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the
By Kent M. Keith, author of The Paradoxical Commandments: Finding Personal Meaning in a Crazy World.
(c) Kent M. Keith 1968, 2001.
LMS GOALS & OBJECTIVES
– Sponsor a full day post-meeting symposium in Dallas with the Association of
Academic Health Sciences Libraries: “Leadership Reconsidered: Leading Health
Sciences Libraries in a Transformational Age.”
– Sponsor a joint program with the Mental Health Section in Dallas on
personnel issues in the workplace.
– Help to implement and disseminate the Mentor Program Task Force
recommendations of MLA.
– Develop joint project with the Association of Academic Health Sciences
Libraries to present program on leadership.
– Publish two columns on leadership and management in the MLA
– Conduct yearlong iterative planning process to maximize member input and
commitments to section mission.
– Conduct membership drive.
– Improve section communication with the publication of three newsletter
issues, use of listserv, reorganized web si
FINANCIAL REPORT 2001/2002
May 16, 2001 – October 30, 2001
CALL FOR EXCHANGE OF
May 2001 at the Executive Committee meeting of the LMS in Orlando, I volunteered
(was nominated?) to do a series of case studies on management problems for
section members similar to the monthly column in Library
Journal--only briefer and focused on health sciences libraries. Once back at
my own library (Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library), I was faced with a variety
of management problems--hiring a
qualified serials librarian, implementing the budget for the new academic year,
fine tuning our collection of electronic resources, etc. One issue kept coming
up for which we had done some, but clearly not enough, planning--the
use of personal digital assistants (PDAs) by residents and students. The
librarians at Himmelfarb had prepared a set of information tools on PDAs and
posted it on our web page. They had also planned and offered an excellent and
well-attended workshop with both vendors and users of PDAs as presenters. But
more information, resources, and planning are needed to support our growing
group of PDA enthusiasts! I know that many of you are facing these very same
issues. Perhaps we can use this newsletter to begin a discussion of the role
health sciences libraries can play in the successful utilization of PDAs for
health care information. We could start with some questions about the role that
health sciences libraries could/should play. Will your library offer technical
support, providing assistance with software and hardware problems? Will you
negotiate institutional licenses for knowledge-based resources? Have you
considered acting as a group-purchasing agent to obtain discounts on hardware
and software? Are you coordinating users’ groups and listervs for PDA users?
Are you coordinating PDA services with other departments such as IT or internal
medicine to provide a full range of products from calendars and on-call
schedules to reputable drug-interaction guides? Does any library service desk
act as a contact point for questions about PDA products and services? Whatever
your answers to these questions, please share your opinions, successes, and
failures with me at email@example.com and I will compile your responses,
ideas, and suggestions for the next issue of the newsletter. Let’s share our
ideas and solutions!
From University of Tennessee:
LMS members Martha
Earl and Susan Selig, along with
their colleague Priscilla Stephenson, AHIP, received the third place Research
Award at the Triple Chapter meeting in New Orleans, October 2001, for their
paper entitled “Remote Access to Electronic Resources: Impact on Use of the
Physical Library and Barriers to Change.”
Martha is at UT Medical Center in Knoxville; Susan and Priscilla are at
the UT College of Medicine in Memphis.
LSU Health Sciences Center, New Orleans:
LMS member, Pauline
Fulda, AHIP, and co-authors Carolyn Bridgewater, Kathryn Kerdolff, AHIP,
Hanna Kwasik, and Julie Schiavo received an award for Honorable Mention at the
Triple Chapter meeting in New Orleans, October 2001, for their poster entitled,
“Model Methodology: Librarians’ Toolbox for Core Journal Selection.”
Julie is with the Dental Library, and the others are all with the Health
Sciences Center Library.
University of Arkansas:
Mary Ryan, AHIP, Director of the UAMS Library in Little Rock, was elected as the South Central Chapter nominee to the MLA Nominating Committee.
Chair-Elect: Elaine Russo Martin
Secretary: Anne Linton
Treasurer: M. Sandra Wood
Section Council Representative: Carolyn Reid
Nominee to MLA Nominating Committee: Kirsten Shelstad
Bylaws Committee Chair: Pat Thibodeau
Membership Committee Chair: Judy Consales
Nominating Committee Chair: Julia Sollenberger
Program Committee Chair: Elaine Russo Martin
Strategic Planning Coordinator: helen-ann brown
Newsletter Co-Editors: Walter W. Morton, Dixie Jones
Web Site Co-Editors: Sue London, Julie Sollenberger, Jean Shipman
the Pre-conference issue: